Finally, the budget appetite of the Republic of Crimea for the next several years became known. According to media reports, the Crimean government adopted a draft three-year budget of the republic.

In accordance with the adopted budget in 2018, the sum of federal donations to the Republic of Crimea will amount to almost 130 billion rubles. In 2019 and 2020, the numbers will be 143 and 150 billion rubles, respectively. At the same time, the region's own planned revenues are only 38-40 billion.

The financial burden of Crimea will almost equal that of Chechnya, which in the period from 2007 to 2015 received 539 billion rubles from the Russian budget in the form of various grants, subsidies, and subventions. And in the next 3 years, it is supposed to be more than 400 billion invested in Crimea. According to experts, even with this level of assistance from Russia, the opportunities for economic development of the Republic of Crimea remain very vague. It is also quite possible that despite such a large amount of federal budget assistance, the money may not be enough - the Russian government is pursuing some extremely expensive and ambitious projects there.

Obviously, that level of budget support in Crimea is going to have a very negative impact on funding the social needs of the rest of Russia.

And starting from the next year, Russians will also have to pay an extra resort fee to visit this wonderful place called Crimea. The cost will be up to 100 rubles a day per person, with the money will allegedly be spent on raising the level of tourist service.

The basics of the modern economy say, that aside from the competition, you should first provide a service, and then take money for it! And you offer to accept the service, not extort money for it! With an extremely low level of tourist service and infrastructure, with a heap of unresolved problems, the prices for vacation for Russians far exceed the price of a much better holiday abroad.

The market economy is being successfully replaced by agitation, propaganda and imposed pseudo-patriotism, which make Russians drive to Crimea to spend their "hard earned" money. And those who do not have money are offered to rejoice over their happy compatriots.

It became known that the Russian “First Channel” is going to receive an additional support of three billion rubles from the government budget the next year. On the 27th of October, after the third reading, the parliament has finally approved a document which determines the corrections of the federal budget to be made in the near future, up until the end of 2019. According to the media reports, one of the corrections directly specifies an increase of cash injections into the development of the "First Channel". The explanatory note contains information that the subsidy is meant to compensate for the "income not received by the channel from its international, as well as current activities".

It is assumed that governmental support will help the "First" to pay off its debts to the service providers which organize the channel's broadcasting. In addition, the money will be used to pay for the channel's license, as well as for other copyright contracts to display TV content, movies, including the expenses on film production.

An external source of money is important for the channel after the registered reduction in the audience. This indicator directly affects the revenues of the media company. According to the information published in 2016, the daily target audience of the channel (viewers aged 14 to 59 years) on average dropped to 11.6%. In 2017 this figure was already 10.7%. At the same time, the total debt of "First Channel" as of December 31, 2016, exceeded 12.8 billion rubles.

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About dozen governors have lost their jobs in Russian Federation recently. Expert opinions on this fact are different. Some believe that this rejuvenates the government structures, others note that the old leaders are being replaced by the "young technocrats", while some people say that this process is extraterritorial in its nature.  

The dismissal of governors and appointing the new figures are a consequence of the process started back in 2015. Two years ago, sources predicted a serious rotation inside the government, which would result in more than a third of the governor's posts will be taken by the young specialists. It is likely, that additional five or six regional leaders will leave their posts before or at the beginning of 2018. It is expected that in the future about 35% of the regional leadership will also get a replacement.

The replacement of the current leaders goes under the slogan of strengthening the government by the new professionals. However, this is a very controversial phenomenon, since young people coming to power will set themselves a goal to quickly move up the career ladder. The effectiveness of the work of these "young technocrats" is going to depend on what career bonuses they will be receiving from completing certain tasks. They will likely be cynical and unprincipled in their approach, follow the central government and work in the interests of certain groups of influence and clans, even if would hurt the people living in the entrusted territory. Many of the appointees have never even been in the regions which they are going to lead. They are not familiar with local specifics, economy, features and needs of the people. These are no political figures who came to power, but the cogs in a carefully built machine of strict control and subordination.

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Public organizations studying the issues of human rights protection prepared a report concerning this matter in the post-Soviet countries. The study covered a short period of four years. The document indicates evidence of increase in protest activities of population, especially in Russian Federation. Government reaction on these protests differs, and the atmosphere in Russia concerns and outrages the European human rights defenders.

The prepared report will be sent to the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). According to the authors, there is a policy of "criminalization" of the popular protest movement in Russia. There is a great chance that these changes in country’s democratic climate may lead to the creation of lists with the names of the “unwanted”. In fact, this shadow list seems to already exist, because the opposition members have almost every door closed for them. Aside from the obvious persecution and criminal charges, they encounter many other problems: they lose their jobs, expelled from school, ignored by law enforcement and government bodies, entrepreneurs have difficulties with control agencies and the police, etc. And the only wrongdoing of these people is their support of the opposition movement.

New changes in the legislative acts (for example, the “Yarovaya Law") view even harmless criticism of the current government not only as an extremism but even as a terrorism, the crime against the constitutional foundations of the country! It is noteworthy that arrests happen even when a single person is holding a picket, an action that does not require any kind of permission, and is absolutely legal.

This practice became normal in Russian Federation. There is a growing number of cases involving the use of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, which forces the activists to flee abroad.

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For nine years the siloviki from FSB have pursued a number of local entrepreneurs in Tyumen. Their criminal activities are being investigated, with the terrible details of the committed crimes become known. The very fact of the existence of an organized crime syndicate run by the siloviki speaks for itself. It is known now that a criminal group consisting of former FSB officers, police officers and special squad members, committed a number of very serious crimes during the recent nine years.

The number of victims has not been officially claimed. The investigation suspects that the said group committed about 18 murders, however, there is an information which implies that a total number is more than 50 victims. The victims of these “uniform betrayers" were often the taxi drivers, as the criminals needed cars to use them later in other crimes. In particular, in hunting and murdering the local businessmen. The main purpose of their criminal activities was the capturing of the businessmen money.

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Brykin Nikolai GavrilovichModern Russia is literally occupied by the siloviki – and not only by the government’s law enforcement agencies with millions of employees but also by an unofficial system of ex-siloviki. The majority of the previously high-ranked officers continue their careers and become politicians, deputies, government officials or, at the very least, chiefs of security in various large companies and organizations. Their characters were built up by the “wild nineties” when the honest Soviet militsiya officers realized that they could not compete with their corrupt colleagues.

None of the officers climbing the career ladder in the 1990s could ignore the realities of corruption. Posts were bought and sold, and any, even the most illegal and immoral deal could be solved for money. Only the most arrogant and unprincipled could reach the top back then. Bandit racketeering of the wild 90's turned into the organized silovik protection racket in the early 2000s. These days most of those first siloviki have already retired, having found a refuge in various civilian structures.  

Retired silovik circles gave birth to a new unofficial profession named “reshala” or “problem solver", whose job is to solve various issues privately and unofficially, using his corrupt connections, or to represent a third party during a sensitive deal (for example, a bribe). The biography of “reshala” should imply that he has these necessary "connections" and he can be trusted. Often, the fact that he belongs to the caste of the siloviki is the biggest reason for building trust. They do not trust strangers. Exceptions for this are very rare and happen only for very important people.  That is why a “reshala” is often a former high-ranking silovik, many of whom have worked in various regions, and who have the right connections both locally and in Moscow.

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Russian men of government have developed new amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code. Legislative innovations will allow the administration of justice in the majority of criminal cases without requiring the evidence base. The main idea of this new legal initiative is to simplify the pre-trial investigation measures. The government plans to consider 95% of all the criminal cases according to a special scrutiny standard introduced into the domestic legal proceedings in 2001 (Ch. 40, CCP RF).

This standard removes the necessity for the testimony of witnesses, conducting expert examinations, or collecting evidence. Instead, the "Criminal Case" folder contains only one piece of paper – an admission of the suspect.

The main reason for the introduction of the special standard is claimed to be an economy. The profit here is real because the cost of examinations can be up to several hundred thousand rubles. Money can also be saved by minimizing the need to pay for work of prosecutors, investigators, judges. But is this profit really worth the transformation of the legal system into an inquisition conveyor?

What might such economy on criminal proceedings turn into in reality? Instead of a full six-month investigation, any crime can be solved within an hour. The investigator needs only to make the suspect “interested in agreeing” to a special standard of legal proceedings. This works well with the poor and illiterate population. You only need to put an ordinary citizen John Doe in front of a dilemma: to choose two-thirds or the entire term – and he agrees on anything. Otherwise, he will need to spend thousands of rubles on examinations and lawyers, without any guarantee that this will help to prove his innocence.

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